The Franschhoek Motor Museum (FMM), at L’Ormarins estate in the Western Cape, played host to a spectacular time trial and concours event this past weekend. Held over two days, the event featured a multitude of rare and exotic cars battling for top honours in their respective events. Apart from the attraction of the cars themselves, the museum is situated on the beautiful L’Ormarins estate, nestled below the peaks of the Groot Drakenstein mountains.
The event kicked off with the time trial runs on Saturday morning. The competitors were divided into three classes of cars, according to their speeds, and completed four runs of the specially-designed circuit. The drivers list read like a who’s-who of local and international motorsport legends, with the likes of Sarel van der Merwe, who piloted the museum’s Porsche Carrera GT, a Le Mans D Type Jaguar and a wild Chevelle SS; Ian Scheckter, who got behind the wheel of the museum’s Tyrell and March F1 cars; as well as Serge Damseaux, 10 times SA Rally Champion, who was reunited with his 1988 Class A Championship winning Toyota Conquest. Other well known personalities attacking the course, included young Schalk Burger in his modified BMW 135i and a Shelby Mustang 350, as well as L’Ormarins’ owner, Mr Johann Rupert, whose weapons of choice were a ’63 Ferrari Lusso GT and Mercedes CLK DTM AMG.
Despite temperatures being well into the 30′s, spectators were well looked after with ample food and beverage available. The pit area was open to spectators and allowed the chance for close-up inspection of the competing cars. Various manufacturers also had their latest models on display, including Maserati with a GranTursimo S, Ferrari with their California and Porsche with a 911 GT3, 911 Turbo and a few Panameras.
Of course the museum itself opened its doors for the weekend. With over 220 cars in the collection, the museum boasts 2 700 m² of floor space with some 80 cars on display at any one time. An added bonus for those in attendance was being able to see the exhibits come to life when the Ferrari F50, McLaren F1 and Porsche Carrera GT took to the course – carrying the three winners of the lucky draw, who each won the ride of their lives.
The Concours d’Elegance took place on Sunday afternoon. Entries included, among others, a Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing, BMW M1, Aston Martin DBR, Ferrari Dino, Ferrari Daytona and Toyota 2000GT.
As with the Knysna Hillclimb we attended last year, we hope the FMM Time Trial & Concours event continues to grow from strength to strength. South Africa offers some of the most spectacular scenery in the world and successfully combining these scenes with rare and exotic machinery is certainly a trend we hope will catch on. With more events like these, spectators are given the opportunity to view motorsport in environments other than the racetrack, which adds variety to their motorsport calendar.
Time Trial Top 10 Fastest Times:
|1||47||Toby Venter||Porsche 911||1:57.46|
|2||43||Peter Lindenberg||Ford Capri Perana||1:58.28|
|3||42||Ross Lazarus||Ford GT40||1:59.64|
|4||48||Sean Summers||Ferrari F430||2:01.51|
|5||26||Francis Cusens||Lotus 7||2:01.81|
|6||49||Johann Rupert||Mercedes-Benz CLK AMG DTM||2:05.07|
|7||36||Sarel van der Merwe||Chevrolet Chevelle SS||2:05:50|
|8||30||Anthony Corin||Ford Capri Perana||2:05.99|
|9||23||Andrew Sickler||GSM Dart||2:06.01|
|10||24||Sarel van der Merwe||1955 Jaguar D Type||2:07.15|